Parshas Vayigash

Judah makes an impassioned plea to the powerful Egyptian ruler (Joseph, still in disguise) for Benjamin’s life, claiming that Jacob would surely die from sorrow if he lost Benjamin. Judah offers to remain in Egypt as a slave in place of his younger brother. Unable to restrain himself any longer, Joseph reveals his identity to his stunned brothers and forgives them for selling him into slavery so many years before.

Joseph then sends his brothers back to the land of Israel, laden with gifts, to bring Jacob and their families down to Egypt where they will live in the province of Goshen. Before Jacob leaves home, G-d appears to him in a ‘vision of the night’, reassuring him that He will be with them and that they will eventually return to the land of Israel as a great nation.

After 22 years of separation, Jacob is reunited with his beloved son Joseph. Joseph embraces his father and weeps, overflowing with joy, and then brings his father to meet Pharaoh. The portion concludes by describing how Joseph uses his vast power to amass nearly all of the wealth of Egypt for Pharaoh’s treasury.

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